Part 8: Blood of Pride
Lycia is a federation of territories, each one ruled by a powerful marquess. Now, Lyn takes her leave of one of these territories, Araphen, and sets out to meet her grandfather, the marqess of Caelin. However, the marquess's brother, Lundgren, hungers to rule Caelin. He is preparing a deadly welcome for Lyn, who stands to threaten his grasp for power.
: This? This is Araphen. After Ostia, it's the second-biggest city in Lycia.
: The second biggest, hm? It does seem awfully busy. By the way, where's Kent?
: He said he was going ahead to the castle, but... Ah, here he comes now.
There he is. Although, it seems we also have a little friend sneaking around in the bottom left there.
: They've prepared supplies for us. The marquess has agreed to aid us on our journey to Caelin. Araphen and Caelin have enjoyed a sturdy friendship for many years, and once I informed the marquess of our plight, he agreed to lend us his strength.
: Looks like we've got a smooth road ahead!
: If we could pick up some soldiers, the road to Caelin would be that much safer. I'm truly sorry for hardships you've suffered so far.
: Don't be silly. You are so capable, Kent.
: Hm? Oh, and so are you Sain.
: Of course I am!
Well this is helpful. It'll be nice to see someone who doesn't want to kill us for once.
: What did you say? What's happening?
: Smoke! From the castle! Hey! What are those men doing?
Of course. Can things go right for us? Just once? Please?
: You! You're Lyndis, aren't you?
: Ah! What do you-
: No questions! Prepare yourself!
Friendly unit out of nowhere. Not that we couldn't have taken him, but not complaining.
: What? An arrow? Who are-
: Are you all right?
: I'm fine. He... This man saved me.
: May I ask your name?
: Wait! Why did you help me?
: I thought a Sacaean plainswoman was being attacked. I was mistaken.
: No, you were right! I am from Sacae. I'm Lyn, the daughter of the Lorca chieftain.
: The Lorca? There were survivors? You should leave at once. A blaze has started in the castle, and it's spreading. Don't be foolish and waste the life I just saved.
: You're from the castle? What's happening? How severe is the fire? Is the marquess safe?
: The castle is under attack, and the marquess has been accosted. The man who attacked you was probably one of the marauders. As the captain of the castle guard, it's my duty to rescue the marquess.
: I see. All right then, we'll help you.
: These brigands are after me. If they're attacking the castle, it's because of me, so I must help if I can...
: It sounds like you're involved somehow... Let's go.
: Our tribes may be different, but I will not abandon a woman of the Sacae.
: Thank you, Rath! A thousand blessings upon you!
: And a thousand curses upon our enemy!
Meanwhile, our friend in green runs into the north village.
: What are you doing in my house?!
: Peace! I mean no danger to you! Your home offers a good view of the battle outside. Look, I'll pay you for the privilege. Please.
: Like a vulture waiting for the spoils, eh? Terrible! Pay up! I'll be hiding below, so don't bother me.
: I wouldn't dream of it. Now then, which side has the most to offer?
Hmm...seems like he could be pretty easily swayed as a potential ally. We'll have to pay him a visit later.
: Perhaps the secret passageway... There's an underground tunnel leading to the throne room. There are triggers in the barracks that will open the tunnel.
: Head through the passage to the throne room and rescue the marquess. Once that's done, can you drive the enemy from the castle?
: If we can release those triggers, my men and I can handle the rest. There are three triggers though, and all three need to be released or the entrance won't open.
: But the doors to the barracks are locked.
: The enemy's within. If we don't get inside and finish them, we're stuck.
: So opening these doors is our first objective.
Okay, it's showtime.
Not a whole lot to see on the map right now. Let's check out our new buddy Rath.
Not bad. He's got a great set of offensive stats, his defense is good, and he even has a couple points of resistance. A little high leveled, but that's not really a problem. He comes with a shortbow, which has an elevated critical rate, and a vulnerary.
First thing on the agenda is to send Lyn north to have a chat with our house-dwelling friend.
: Who are you?
: I'm Matthew, a specialist in acquisitions of all kinds. Would you like to buy my services?
: I've no need for a thief.
: Really? And how do you plan on opening the barrack doors?
: What? How did you know about-
: Bullseye! Don't be mad. Hire me. For you, I'll even lower my normal rate.
: I do need those doors opened... OK. You're hired. Why did you choose to ally yourself with me?
: I was watching the battlefield from above. Your group looked like a lot more fun than the dead guy. Pretty simple really.
: You're so odd.
: Time to get to work!
Well that's certainly a reason to join. Let's have a look.
Typical thief stats. He's fast, and...well, that's about it. He comes with an Iron sword and a set of lockpicks, which allow him to open doors and chests. Thieves can also steal from units if they have a higher (or equal) speed stat, but they can't take weapons or staves, even if they're unequipped. We put him to use opening up the first door.
Aha, there's the first trigger. Thankfully, we only have to stop on the switch and not leave someone there. Send Rath over...
...And we open up the main part of the barracks. The soldier on the far right there has a door key, so we can save Matthew's lockpicks for now.
Back with the main group, they're headed southeast. Erk starts with attacking the southern mercenary, and Wil trades off the Iron sword we got last time to Sain before getting the kill. Kent attacks the eastern mercenary, and Florina gives him one of the Javelins before killing the mercenary herself and getting a level up.
Eh, pretty typical. Though pretty much everyone is getting bad levels defensively, I'm not sure I like where that's going. Next up, Dorcas visits the village.
You're mercenaries, right? Can't you do something? Huh? You can't get the barracks open? I bet a thief with a set of picks could open any door you needed. Hold on, I may have something here to help you... Here it is! This is it, one door key. Here! No charge. Now go get those thugs, will you?
Well that was some sage advice, even if we already took care of it. This is handy though, because now we don't have to send Matthew all the way down to that end, or even worse, get the door key from the soldier and double back down. Serra moves east and we end the turn.
: Hey! Unless my eyes decieve me, that's a chest! Say, Art, since we came all this way, what say we help ourselves? Huh? What do you mean, "No"? Don't be such a bore. Yeah, I know stealing's bad. I'm well aware of that. But we're saving the marquess, right? Let's just call this an advance on our reward.
Oh, Matthew, you scoundrel. Let's have a look inside that chest.
Oh, very nice. Angelic Robes boost the max HP of a unit by 7, meaning it's quite useful for the less hardy units. As for the rest of the crew, Sain takes the door key from Dorcas and heads east, as do Erk, Serra, and Kent, who kills the soldier. The rest of the crew heads north.
First thing is to get the southern door open. Sain moves east and does the honors.
Oh hey, this one's actually guarded. Not competently or anything, but that might be asking a bit much of these fellows. Serra heals up Kent, and Erk kills the soldier inside.
Bleh. This is easily the worst set of level ups I've had in years. Of course it would happen in the LP. Everyone else moves north and east, and Matthew positions himself to bait the soldier.
It pays off handsomely.
First, let's hit that switch.
Aha, there's our boss. Well done, Kent. Matthew also uses the door key to pop open the last room.
Ooh, treasure. Serra heals up Erk, and Dorcas and Wil kill the archer. Everyone else moves north.
So let's look at the boss.
Knights are exactly what you'd expect them to be. Slow as shit, but a walking tank. Ideally, Erk would blow off two thirds of his HP in one attack, but he's still at the bottom, so Wil and Dorcas start the charge. But first, let's get that treasure.
Hey, an Armorslayer. As the name implies, it gets a bonus against knights, but we don't have anyone who can really use it well right now, and we don't even need it for this guy. Back to murder:
: When did you arrive? No matter. I shall deal with you.
Wil is taking none of his shit and starts with a critical hit, which would be significantly more impressive if he weren't doing 2 damage. Dorcas lands twice with his hand axe as well, to knock off 18 HP total. At this point, both Wil and Dorcas are ready to level up, so I figure I'll just save him for them.
Almost done. Wil deals 4 damage and picks up his level.
So many mediocre levels...Dorcas finishes off the boss and gets his as well.
Lyn hits the final switch, and we're done with this chapter.
: Good work! We'll let Rath take over from here.
: You've done well. What a performance!
: Sir, if you have praise, it should be given to this group.
: My name is Lyndis. I'm pleased to see you're well.
: Oh...It's you. You're Marquess Caelin's... Leave us Rath. I would speak with this girl.
: Do you know the identity of those responsible for this uproar?
: I believe it to be the work of my granduncle, Lundgren.
: That's exactly right. Which means my castle has been damaged in your family's petty inheritance dispute.
: My...My apologies...
: When I heard Lady Madelyn's daughter was in trouble, I thought to lend my assistance... I find I've changed my mind. I withdraw my offer.
: Marquess Araphen! You gave me your word, my lord!
: ...Your name is Kent, is it not? You failed to inform me of one most vital detail!
: What... What do you mean?
: This girl does resemble Lady Madelyn, but...
Surprise! We're not getting any aid because of a racist old prick.
: Don't you feel the marquess of Caelin would be troubled to meet this...nomadic mongrel?
: Sain! Hold! My apologies, my lord Marquess.
: Your man is poorly disciplined. Besides, I hear Marquess Caelin is ill and abed. I question whether he will survive to meet this girl, in which case his brother, Lundgren, will claim his title. And I certainly wish to avoid trouble with the coming marquess.
: You scheming...
: I understand. Kent, Sain, we take our leave at once.
: Milady Lyndis! We-
: I am proud of the Sacae blood that runs through my veins. I will NOT accept aid from one who disparages my heritage.
: Don't worry about anything. We're all here for you! Isn't that so, Kent?
: I beg your forgiveness. I've been so concerned with seeing you to Caelin, I failed to take your feelings into account.
: Is that it? Trouble yourself no more. You have put my safety above all else. Hold your head up and be proud.
: If she had shed a single tear, I would have granted her request. We Lycian nobles will never understand those prideful savages.
: Are those your true feelings toward the nomads of Sacae, milord?
: What? Oh, Rath! I didn't see you there. My comments do not reflect on you. You are my captain, I'm proud of your service.
: Of course. As long as we bend our knee to you, you care not where we're from. But when an equal comes from my lands? What conceit.
: Rath! How can you speak to me like that? I have treated you well, have I not? I have paid you well, treated you far better than your kind deserves.
How not to win over an angry subordinate. Coming to a bookstore near you, this summer.
: You will never understand. My service ends here.
: He said my grandfather was ill. We must hurry to Caelin...
: As we approach Caelin, Lundgren's obstacles will be more difficult to overcome. However, I've vowed to see you through to the end, milady!
: I'm with you, too!
: Art... Thank you for always standing at my side. It's because of all of you that I... I will persevere!
: What is it? What are you-
: I overheard the marquess talking to himself. Lyn of the Lorca... Proud daughter of the Sacae... I would join you. And this... I want you to take it.
: This is... Gold!? It's too much. I can't accept it.
: I have no need for it. And if it will help you...
: I cannot take back something once offered.
: Rath...I thank you.
Now that's what I'm talking about. It's nice to not be stuck with a whole 800 Gold.
Rath is essentially Wil on a horse, and he's pretty good. He comes at a higher level, but not so high that he's going to be an experience hog, and he has really good base stats. His growths are marginally worse than Wil's (though the extra speed is probably more helpful than Wil's extra skill), but he has the advantage of being mounted. You can't really go wrong with him, but it'll be a while until he shows up again in Eliwood's story.
Matthew is the first of two thieves, and the more "combat-oriented" (though I use that term very loosely) of the two. He's got a higher HP, strength, and speed growth, which does make him the better choice to promote, but thieves are a class where you'd be entirely justified in just using the prepromoted one. At the very least, you're going to want to keep one thief around to steal things since their promotion can't do so, but which one is a matter of choice.